Thursday, March 05, 2015

Where Fairy Tales Come From

First off, I have done A Thing: my short story "Candy, Shoe, and Skull; Sallow Flowers Plucked Like Chains" appears in this month's issue of Niteblade Fantasy and Horror Magazine.

And yes, it's the dark fairy tale issue.

If you know me, you understand why that is perfect.

I've read the magazine and there are some delightfully wondrous and oh-so-dark retwistings of fairy tale in these digital pages. So far my favorites, other than my own story (because: of course), are Eric J. Guignard's "A Kiss and a Curse," a Beauty and the Beast retelling of dire consequence, the narrative poem "Et je ne pleurais jamais les larmes cicatrisantes magiques; c’est seulement un mensonge joli: Arne-Thompson Index No. 310" by Elizabeth McClellan featuring a Rapunzel with agency and engineering on her side, and Rhonda Eikamp's "The Men in the Walls," which is also very, very dark. Well, they're all dark. This is, after all, the dark fairy tale issue. But there's a delight in these dark stories that my brain keeps turning over and over. I love the twists and shapes of these tales.

My piece, "Candy, Shoe, and Skull; Sallow Flowers Plucked Like Chains,"really came about because I kept picking at the notion of where fairy tales come from, then applied that to the modern world.

We're all just dark and twisty beings who don't understand what's going on.

There are two main theories in folklore studies about the origins of these stories of the people and the fact that so many cultures developed the same basic tales seemingly independent of one another. One notion is that these tales arise from the collective subconscious.

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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Hibernation 2015 - wherein I discuss stashing food supplies and what I achieved of my pre-hibernation goals, and perhaps, the dreams I will dream during said winter incubation period

I recently got asked to do a Thing in another city, and I very seriously replied that I was, in fact, in hibernation until the end of February. A conservative estimate. In truth, the end of hibernation depends on the end of Snow Season, which is different from the end of Winter. Although the two are not wholly unrelated.

Northern Michigan winters are not something I take lightly. Yes, there are places where winter is worse and/or more persistent. But this is nothing to be sneezed at. Unless you have the flu on top of being trapped in your own house and really we all should have just gotten flu shots. No, I'm not completely cut off from civilization -- see, I have the internet, I have all the civilization I need -- but when your means of getting to the grocery store or anywhere else in town is a tiny compact car, you reevaluate your ability to fight the terror in white.

And damn if road slush didn't nearly do me in the other day. It wasn't even snow! Or ice! Just the goofy slush! Argh.

So I don't travel between Christmas and the start of March. Not if I can help it and certainly not for any distance.

The cupboard shall not run bare.

I have a December through March worry, which becomes a full on January and February neurotic maxim, to always have several days worth of food on hand -- food that can be turned into meals, not just a box of Cheerios and a pound of butter. Shudder. Because we never know when the next big snow is going to hit.

Last year the weather forecasts were dead on. Then again it seemed like we got 2-5" every day last winter, so I guess it's not that hard to predict. But this year they predict 3" we get none. They predict 6" we get none. They predict 5" we get 12." Sigh. And even when a mild 5" fell earlier this week, and I had diligently shoveled out all the requisite paths -- clear sidewalk for school kids, clear steps for mail man, clear driveway for me to get the car out -- I slipped and slid all over the place courtesy of aforementioned slush. So I try to stay off the roads the day of snowfall if I can. (A home office is a brilliant thing.) But if it snows for three days . . . I'm screwed. Or at least stranded.

Which is fine. Because I prepare.

I like to have enough on hand that I could, if needed, wait it out for a week until a clear day afforded me passage to the market that did not land me in the ditch or making new friends and acquaintances of the let's trade insurance information variety. At the very least I can stretch things out by eating rice and kimchi until I realize that I'm not Korean enough -- even in my own mind -- to eat kimchi with every meal. (It should be noted that technically I'm not Korean at all, I just watch too much K-drama and it's been rubbing off on me.)

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